Friday, May 21, 2010

Vacationers dump Bangkok, fly to Singapore & Malaysia

The summer season for places like Singapore, Mal­aysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong has never been so busy. Due to political unrest in Bangkok and volcanic ash eruptions in Europe, a lot of tourist traffic is diverting to these places, thereby, generating an extra 25-30 per cent bookings for them.

Travellers who had booked their holiday packages for Thailand and European destinations are left with a few options -- either to cancel their bookings or postpone their trips. However, some of them, who want to spend their summer vacation abroad, have just transferred their booking to other nations. This has resulted in big business for destinations like Kuala Lumpur and Macao.

“June is going to be fully booked for Singapore, Malaysia. They are going to get over 25 per cent extra traffic this season,” Kapil Goswamy, managing director of New Delhi-based Trans World Travels, said.

While the Bangkok bookings are being diverted to Asian regions, European cancellations are diverted mainly to the US. “It is mainly people who have combined packages of Bangkok-Phuket, who are cancelling their travel plans. Similarly, people who had plans for Europe are choosing to go to the US now,” Richa Goyal Sikri, director, group business development, STIC Travel, said.

Singapore and Bangkok are established tourism ma­rkets in India. They account for over 50 per cent of the total international bookings of many travel companies. But this time, the share of Bangkok would get transferred to other markets.

The additional traffic, however, does not mean extra money. There has been no impact on pricing as of now with the sudden growth in demand. According to travel firms, the reason why it has not affected demand is that there was already an inventory with hoteliers and airlines.

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